Immortality, Zombies, and Vampires (Yantas, Magic, and Gods)

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sangi39
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Immortality, Zombies, and Vampires (Yantas, Magic, and Gods)

Post by sangi39 » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 03:27

So I started having a think about how the magic system found on Yantas, and how it ties in with its deities, might allow for forms of necromancy and, to a point, vampirism.

As explained in other threads, Yantas' system of magic relies on humans and Kovur, through various means, both direct and indirect, of persuading deities to affect the physical world in a way that suits the will of the individual, e.g. someone sacrifices a chicken asking a deity to make their crops grow that year, another person recites a phrase with the intent of causing a fire to start, etc. (the system relies entirely on deities affecting the physical world, but whether or not the humans or Kovur actually invoke a deity directly doesn't matter, strictly speaking).

Anyway, one thing I was thinking was whether or not those deities could reanimate the dead or lengthen the lifespan of the living and I decided on "yes, given certain conditions".

In the case of necromancy, it's not simply a case of raising the dead. The soul, also discussed in other threads, does survive as distinct from the wider magical field for a time, meaning that it should be possible to reconnect the soul to the body. However, I don't want the resurrection to be a singular event, with the reconnection being final and complete. The reconnection has to be maintained, with the body continuing to decay, albeit at a slower rate, and the soul does naturally start to "drift". Continued human/Kovur sacrifices need to be made over time, with the deity using the influx of new souls in order to maintain the reconnection.

Similarly, a human/Kovur can prolong their own lifespan (but not affect their vulnerabilities), again by sacrificing other humans or Kovur in order for the connection of their soul to their body to allow the deity to slow down the ageing process.

And that's where we move on to "zombies" and "vampires". The sacrifice doesn't have to be directly consumed by the individual, as long as theirs a belief their, supported by a deity, that the sacrifice will have those effects, and the deity actually follows through on those beliefs (some deities do, some deities don't, some deities to some of the time but not all of the time). However, some do directly consume the sacrifice, instead believing that their directly taking in the soul/life-essence/whatever of the sacrifice.

There is still a limit to how long the reconnection can be maintained, with reanimated corpses tending towards soul drift more quickly. As time goes by, more and more effort needs to be made on the part of the deity to maintain the reconnection, meaning that more and more sacrifices need to made over the years. This means that reanimation and prolonged lifespans inevitably lead to more and more bloodshed once the process begins and the intent to maintain that process continues.

I'm not sure yet if there would be any affects on the mental state of the one being kept alive as a direct result of the magic keeping them going (as is the case with deities communicating with mortals, which often leads to increasing mental deterioration over time which is sort of how you can tell the difference between those who deities have spoken to and "prophets", with the latter having had little to no direct contact with deities, merely acting upon their belief that communication has occurred), or whether the increased need for sacrifice would just affect each individual differently on a natural basis.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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Re: Immortality, Zombies, and Vampires (Yantas, Magic, and Gods)

Post by gestaltist » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:25

Loving this, especially this part:
sangi39 wrote:
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 03:27
The reconnection has to be maintained, with the body continuing to decay, albeit at a slower rate, and the soul does naturally start to "drift".
I'm imagining a half-rotten Genghis-like conqueror ruling over half of Yantas for three centuries with human sacrifices all over the place.

What are Kovur? I haven't seen any mention of them before.

As an aside, I am a fan of systems requiring ritual. I feel like "doing magic through the power of will" is the current default and it's honestly boring. Sacrifices, weird concoctions, chants, etc., is much more evocative and interesting.
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Re: Immortality, Zombies, and Vampires (Yantas, Magic, and Gods)

Post by sangi39 » Fri 19 Jan 2018, 03:49

gestaltist wrote:
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:25
Loving this, especially this part:
sangi39 wrote:
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 03:27
The reconnection has to be maintained, with the body continuing to decay, albeit at a slower rate, and the soul does naturally start to "drift".
I'm imagining a half-rotten Genghis-like conqueror ruling over half of Yantas for three centuries with human sacrifices all over the place.
Ooo, I hadn't even thought of that. I mean, their ability to actually be killed doesn't decrease, so if they were really, really good at avoiding successful attempts on their lives, then in theory it could happen [:P]


gestaltist wrote:
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:25
What are Kovur? I haven't seen any mention of them before.
Oh, the Kovur are the "second" sapient species on Yantas. I don't bring them up much, but I they do have a very short thread here from 2013 (although the "band" and "gang" stuff is outdated, the rest of it still holds). Effectively they're there as sort of a "those stories of strange looking people in the East are true", sort of like if the Sciapods turned out to not just be mythological. On the other hand, they're also a in-world version of "werewolves", although more grounded in reality. They're bipedal, sapient descendants of wolf-like creatures, in the same way that humans are bipedal, sapient descendants of apes.


gestaltist wrote:
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:25
As an aside, I am a fan of systems requiring ritual. I feel like "doing magic through the power of will" is the current default and it's honestly boring. Sacrifices, weird concoctions, chants, etc., is much more evocative and interesting.
That was the hope, as well as to come up with something consistent... kind of... As I mentioned in the original "magic" thread, it depends hugely on the deity behind it, so in the physical world it might look like certain groups of people, families or individuals might just happen to be super good at bending reality to their will, but the deity can't just do that. They do need belief behind them.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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